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"We'd have most of what we predicted of the conquest of space, if we hadn't ignored parasite control."
- Larry Niven

Microwire  
  A very thin wire used for recording purposes.  

In the novel, a ring is used to conceal a short length of wire that has one-half of a message recorded on it. On it are recorded plans for force fields and space drives.

Slowly, tenderly, the wire was cleaned and uncoiled. More than an hour later the tiny hands of the micromanipulator stretched out their prize - four feet of steel wire so gossamer fine that it could not be seen at all by naked eye, even by a dragon.

[The two wires] were fed into two ordinary microwave speakers, rigged in parallel... The steel spider threads started very slowly through - and a high-pitched gabbling came out of the horn...

"Not in synch," announced Mr. Costello. "Rewind."

...Shortly, a human voice came out of the loudspeaker horn...

"Title," the voice said. "Some Practical Notes On The Horst-Milne Equations...

From Between Planets, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1951
Additional resources -

The recording also carried facsimile data to provide helpful diagrams. The novel does not detail how this is accomplished; however, one of the characters notes that it is theoretically possible for matter itself to carry information, one bit per molecule, making it possible to put the Encyclopedia Britannica on the head of a pin.

Read the discussion for Frank Herbert's shigawire to read a bit about real-life wire recorders, on which microwire is clearly based.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Between Planets
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Between Planets
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Microwire -related news articles:
  - Microwire Data Storage

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